Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Paws Fur Celebration: Happy Dog, Happy Owner!

Written by Tammie Watts, Government Affairs Director, Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

The Space Coast Association of REALTORS® received a Placemaking Grant from NAR to help build the community’s third dog park. With the help of several local businesses and the Brevard Zoo—and over 7,000 hours of work from community volunteers including REALTORS®—a vacant space was turned into a doggy playground.

Before and after images: dog park, Brevard County, FL

Photos Courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

The park includes a big dog park and small dog park with dog houses, tunnels, bridges, jumps, ramps and water hydrants. A bridge was built that leads into the new children’s playground, symbolizing the bridge between humans and dogs. Chairs, benches and picnic tables make this a comfortable spot for pet owners as well.

Dogs playground at a dog park in Brevard County, FL.

Photos Courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

The Space Coast Association of REALTORS® purchased 13 Adirondack chairs and benches made entirely out of recycled materials. Our name, the REALTOR® ‘R’, and an advocacy or community message is featured on plates on the chairs.

Blue chairs with REALTOR® plate at a dog park in Brevard County, FL.

Photos courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

On December 12, the dog park opened and over 100 dogs and 200 people attended the grand opening and leash cutting ceremony. The mayor and the sheriff were present and active participants at the leash cutting. The dogs played, enjoyed treats and doggie ice cream, and even took pictures with Santa.

All of the dogs were well behaved, as if they knew it was their day. From running around, playing with other dogs, exploring and digging holes, all the dogs were no doubt worn out at the end of the day. They may have started with the “zoomies” but at the end of the day, it was naptime.

Dog park opening day, Brevard County, FL.

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

“It is with great pride that we join the city and the many businesses and volunteers that came together in support of this community project”, stated Pat Weeks, the 2021 Space Coast Association of REALTORS® President.

Each day, I drive by the park and glance over at the location. At any given time, at least 30-plus people and their pets are there. Not only is it a dog park and children’s playground (the children’s park opened the end of January,) it’s where neighbors, families and friends gather together to talk, relax and enjoy the outdoors. Some may be exercising or taking a stroll around the pond. Others are sitting on the benches by the pond, reading or relaxing.

People congregating at dog park in Brevard County, FL.

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

This project that began for our pets resulted in a place for our pets, children and friends. This park is a great point of pride for the Space Coast Association of REALTORS® and is the epitome of a community coming together.


Community Outreach Programs

Housing Opportunity Grant
Housing Opportunity Grants support state and local REALTOR® Associations’ affordable housing activities. The goal of the program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities by creating affordable housing

Smart Growth Grant
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger sense of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes.

NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

Placemaking Webinar Series
Our Placemaking Webinar Series will provide more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® were involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

Comment Policy

The opinions expressed in reader comments sections on this website are those of the reader and not NAR or REALTOR® Magazine.

Smart Growth

The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task.